RIGA - Latvia and Slovakia are like-minded nations with similar history and challenges, which is why active dialogue between the two countries is essential, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak said in an interview to LETA as he started his visit to Latvia.
"You will not believe, but the last visit of a Slovak foreign minister to Latvia took place 11 years ago, in August 2009. By the way, that minister was me. The last visit of a Latvian foreign minister to Slovakia took place in an even more distant past - in 2005," the veteran politician said.
Lajcak said that, however, that his dialogue with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has been very active and lasting for many years already.
"Minister Rinkevics is a good friend of mine, we meet very often at various international forums, but that cannot substitute a proper visit during which we can discuss bilateral relations, as well as issues on the EU and NATO agenda," said Lajcak.
"We are like-minded nations, we have very similar history, we joined the EU and NATO together, we are members of the euro area and we face similar challenges. Tomorrow's official program will provide me an excellent opportunity to discuss these issues," the Slovak minister said.
During his visit, Lajcak is scheduled to meet with Latvian President Egils Levits and Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance) and Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (For Development/For), as well as visit the Adazi military base where he plans to meet with the Slovak soldiers stationed there with the NATO contingent.
The Canada-led NATO battle group in Latvia includes a contingent of 152 soldiers from Slovakia.